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The top 10 bad hair care mistakes you need to break now

Are you brushing through wet hair, lathering-rinsing-and-repeating every day, or skipping out on heat protectant all together? You could be unknowingly sabotaging your hair! Fact is, if you’re following the bad hair habits below, it’s time to stop...stat. Keep reading to discover the top 10 bad hair care habits you may be making and exactly how to get back on the path to healthy-looking, luscious hair.

1. Playing Rough With Hair

Fact: Hair is at its most vulnerable when it’s wet. This is why it’s key to be super gentle with your hair, especially when you hop out of the shower. If you find yourself roughly rubbing your towel on your head to dry your hair… stop, now! By drying your hair aggressively, you can be causing everything from hair frizz and knots to split ends and hair breakage. Instead of rubbing away, gently squeeze the excess water from your hair and pat with your towel. Even better? Invest in a microfiber towel or use a clean t-shirt to soak up your strands. These materials are much less abrasive than traditional bath towels.

2. Cranking Up the Heat on Hair Styling Tools

We know the only way to get mermaid-worthy hair waves is to reach for the curling wand, but if you’re turning the heat up on your hair too often you can kiss those cascading curls goodbye. Excessive use of hot tools—especially when they are turned on their highest settings—can dehydrate and damage your hair. While the jury’s still out on why these styling tools can reach such scalding settings, do your hair a favor and keep the heat on a medium or lower setting. And, while you’re at it, be sure to take a break from the heat every once in a while and allow your hair to air dry. After all, rocking your natural hair texture is very in!

3. Not Using Heat Protection While Styling Hair

Our number three bad hair care habit can easily be paired with number two, but we thought it deserved a special shout out. Whether you heat style once in a blue moon or every time you hop out of the shower, if you’re not first using a heat protection product, you’re doing it wrong. Heat protectants help to create a barrier around your hair, so the hot-hot-heat of the curling wands, flat irons, and blow-dryers can’t burn your hair or further dehydrate your strands. Need more incentive? Heat protectants often help you achieve a silky-smooth hair finish, so there’s no excuse to skip!

4. Tug of War: Brushing Hair Incorrectly

Remember how we told you wet hair is vulnerable hair? Well, drying it the wrong way isn’t the only cause of damage. When hair is wet or damp, it’s much more likely to split and break, so the way you brush out those tangles post shower is important. Instead of reaching for your trusty paddle brush—or worse…a round brush!—try combing out those tangles with a wide tooth comb or a hair brush specially-created for wet hair. Start at the ends and gently work your way up to avoid playing a game of tug of war with your hair.

5. Dirty Hair Care and Hair Styling Tools

When was the last time you cleaned your hairbrushes? If you can’t remember, go do it now. Just as you’d never dream of using dirty makeup brushes on your skin, you should also avoid using dirty hair brushes on your hair. Your brushes will work best when they are kept clean and free of debris and stray dirty hairs.

6. Skipping the Hair Salon

Want healthy-looking hair? Make it a habit to go for a regular hair trim—at least every four to six weeks depending on your hair type. While regular hair trims may seem counterintuitive if you’re trying to grow your hair to new lengths, they are actually necessary. When you skip trims, split ends can build up and eventually those splits will travel up each strand, causing hair breakage and leading to thinner-looking hair in the process. Regular hair trims ensure that your ends stay split-free and that your hair style is always on point!

7. Too Tight Hairstyles

Whether you’re sporting a ponytail at the gym or a top knot at the office, when you pull your hair back into an uber-tight updo, you’re not doing it any favors. Too-tight hairstyles put unnecessary tension on your strands and overtime can lead to hair breakage.

8. Hair Care Product Overload

Hate to break it to you but sometimes there really is too much of a good thing. A little bit of hair product is a great thing—that bit of hair gel, dollop of mousse, or splash of hair oil really can help you achieve beautiful hairstyles you may not have been able to otherwise. But, when you layer these hair care products together, you can end up weighing your hair down and cause an unsightly, greasy-looking buildup.

9. Dry Shampoo Overreliance

Do you find yourself reaching for dry shampoo every day? It’s time to go on a dry shampoo detox. While this hair product is great in a pinch, it should never be used as a substitute for a much-needed hair wash. Use dry shampoo in between washes as a way to quickly refresh your hair—and to avoid over-shampooing, which can be drying—but be sure you aren’t over relying too much on those dry shampoo sprays!

10. Teasing Hair

We all want va-va-va-volume, but there are better ways to get it than by teasing your hair at the crown or blow-drying and brushing your hair upside-down. These (very) bad hair care habits require you to brush the hair in the opposite direction of its cuticle which can create hair frizz and unnecessary hair damage. Instead of trying to get volume this way, reach for volumizing mousses or sprays that have been formulated to give your hair the lift you’re looking for!